Mapping Common Security and Defense Policy: Evolution, Dynamics and Challenges
A wide range of questions and several complexities has marked the European integration process. In fact, the EU is a distinctive integration project in international relations and an emulation model for other regional integration projects. In this context, the Defense plays a key role in the European Union and Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) and has become a required reference point for understanding and analysing the future of the European Union both when viewed from the functional and institutional levels, as well as international actor.
The present panel has the analytical epicentre the definition of the EU as security and defense actor in international relations, mapping this policy evolution in the last 20 years (Since Saint Malo, December 1998).
The purpose of this panel is not only the debate on the doctrinal and operational progress of the CSDP and its limitations to date. It is intended to go further and analyse the dynamics and challenges facing the EU on security and defense matters, as well as the improvements already achieved so far through this policy.
Presentations of the Symposium
Common Security and Defence Policy – Retrospective of the Achievements and Shortfalls of the First Twenty Years (1999-2019)
From the first stone laid in the Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) of the European Union (EU), at the 1999 Cologne European Council (when CSDP was known as the European Security and Defence Policy), that several decisions have been taken to establish operative institutional and military structures to make the CSDP functional. However, this has not been an easy path since there have been both cyclical and structural difficulties. A good example of the former is the meagre defence budgets of the EU member states due to the economic and financial crisis that began in 2008 and lasted for years. A structural problem consists of the dilemma of EU member states between deepening the European integration towards an effective defense policy, on the one hand, or simply adopting an intergovernmental approach, on the other hand. To add another piece to this complex puzzle, and is also a recurrent subject, is the relationship of a European defence policy with NATO, especially for those states who are members of both entities and need to balance their alliances as well as their geostrategic interests and priorities.
On the year that the Common Security and Defence Policy celebrates its 20th anniversary, it is time to analyze it retrospectively and weight its strengths and weaknesses. This is the way to avoid falling into past mistakes, to consolidate good practices – namely taking into consideration lessons learned from military missions –, to adapt to hybrid threats, and to show resilience to new security contexts.
From Intergovernamentalism to the Return of Classical Alliances: An Assessment to PESCO Dynamics in CSDP
The European Union has in its history the aspirations for a peace project for the European continent fractured by World War II. It is therefore not misleading that the Defense plays a fundamental role either at the beginning of the European project, through the ECSC or the Pleven Plan and for 20 years with the development of the CSDP.
However, the European Defense is the high politic par excellence, and this has been disclosed in the decision-making process, as the most difficult policy to Member States conceded their sovereignty.
This paper seeks to reveal the dynamics in the decision-making process regarding the CSDP, more concretely what evidences the option by PESCO in this area.
One-way forward in this area has, therefore, been through the Permanent Structured Cooperation under the CSDP, introduced by Article 42 n.6 of the Treaty of Lisbon. PESCO was presented by the Council of the European Union in November 2017 with the overall mission of harmonizing its defense instruments and drawing up concrete measures to reinforce availability, interoperability, flexibility, inter alia, common objectives for forces projection, and participate in the development of major equipment programs within the EDA framework.
This mechanism, in addition to making the CSDP more flexible, also exposes the difficulty of this policy to overcome its intergovernmental character.
It is concluded that the option for PESCO reveals the complexity of the current moment of the European project and an apparent return to the classic alliances of Thucydides between sovereign states.
The European Union in the Central African Republic: An Integrated Approach to Crisis Management?
The paper aims to question the role of the EU as a global crisis management and conflict resolution player focused both in the institutional narrative and in practice with a specific mission that has been deployed in a very fragile region– the Central African Republic (CAR). The objective is to try to understand what peace building process is being carried out by the EU in CAR, bearing in mind not only the deployment of a specific mission or operation but also in terms of speech analysis framed by CSDP. The state of art will be framed within the 2016 Global Strategy on EU Common Foreign and Security Policy, where the debate is pushed forward from ‘comprehensiveness’ to ‘integration’, clearly attempting in its multi-dimensional, multi-phased, multi-level and multilateral approach together with security and defence, resilience, internal and external security nexus, existing strategies and public diplomacy. In addition, the EU’s institutional narrative of conflict management and resolution is being based in two key concepts: an integrated approach to conflicts and crisis (which assumes a cross-cutting approach to all dimensions and phases of conflict, from early warning to reconstruction) and state and societal resilience. Those pillars will be crucial to evaluate if the EU practices what it preaches when delivers peace, security, rule of law and good governance. We will conclude that EU’s role as a crisis management player in CAR is still in process, but despite the challenges and limitations there are very positive signs ahead.